|179 – "Smith and Jones"|
|Doctor Who episode|
|Writer||Russell T Davies|
|Script editor||Simon Winstone|
|Executive producer(s)||Russell T Davies
|Incidental music composer||Murray Gold|
|Originally broadcast||31 March 2007|
"Smith and Jones" is the first episode of the third series of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was first broadcast on BBC One on 31 March 2007. It sees the debut of Freema Agyeman as new companion Martha Jones. Agyeman had previously appeared as Martha's cousin Adeola in "Army of Ghosts".
The episode sees the Doctor (David Tennant) meeting Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman), a medical student at Royal Hope Hospital. The hospital is transported to the Moon, whereupon the Doctor and Martha must contend with a Plasmavore posing as Florence Finnegan (Anne Reid), as well as the Judoon (voiced by Nicholas Briggs), who are hunting for Finnegan.
The episode was shot mainly in August 2006, with Singleton Hospital and the University of Glamorgan doubling as the fictional Royal Hope Hospital. The Judoon wear prosthetics; for budget reasons only one Judoon is seen to take his helmet off.
Medical student Martha Jones is on her way to work at a London hospital when she bumps into a strange man. He pauses in front of her and removes his tie, then walks away. When she arrives at work, she sees the same man as a patient under the name "John Smith". The man is unaware of seeing Martha earlier in the morning.
Suddenly the occupants of the hospital find that the entire building has been transported to the moon. Three spaceships land nearby, and the hospital is invaded by the Judoon. The Judoon are an intergalactic police force who are searching for a Plasmavore, a blood consuming alien with the ability to appear as the species whose blood it consumes. The Judoon begin scanning everyone in the hospital, cataloguing the humans whilst attempting to find the non-human criminal. John Smith, who turns out to be the Doctor, talks to Martha, revealing that he is an alien as well. The two go down to the lobby to find out what the Judoon are doing. An older lady named Florence Finnegan reveals that she is the Plasmavore and evades detection by sucking the blood of humans. She drains Mr. Stoker, the head of the hospital, and consequently registers as human when the Judoon scan her. The Doctor knows if he is scanned he will register as non-human, so he and Martha quietly avoid the Judoon, who will also likely execute all people within the hospital on grounds of harboring a fugitive if they discover a non-human in the building. As the oxygen level in the hospital drops, people begin to collapse. The Doctor and Martha are chased by Miss Finnegan's servants, leather clad bikers known as slabs. The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to ramp up an X-ray machine and destroy a slab, but the process also destroys his screwdriver.
The Doctor and Martha discover Stoker's body drained of blood, confirming the Doctor's suspicion of a Plasmavore in the hospital. To buy time from the advancing Judoon, the Doctor kisses Martha. This leaves a faint trace of non-human DNA on her, confusing the Judoon and forcing them to do a full scan on her. The Doctor finds Miss Finnegan in an MRI room, who is modifying the scanner to make it destroy all life on the moon and the half of the Earth currently facing it. The Doctor pretends to be a confused human and Miss Finnegan drinks his blood until he collapses. The Judoon arrive and confirm the non-human is deceased. Martha enters and grabs a Judoon scanner and exposes Finnegan as non-human. Confirming Finnegan is the fugitive they seek, the Judoon execute her for the murder of an alien princess. The Judoon declare their job done and leave, marching back to their ships. Martha uses CPR on the Doctor's two hearts and manages to revive him. He disables the modified MRI and the Judoon finally shift the hospital back to Earth seconds before everyone perishes from oxygen starvation.
That evening, Martha attends a birthday party for her brother that ends in a nasty family fight. While outside, she sees the Doctor and follows him to the TARDIS. He invites Martha to go on a trip with him, but she hesitates until the Doctor says he can travel in time as well. He proves it by travelling back to the previous morning, taking off his tie in front of Martha, then travelling back to show her the tie. Martha steps into the TARDIS, and the Doctor tells her that she is only going on one trip with him. The Doctor sets a course and the TARDIS sets off.
Morgenstern refers to a "Saxon" during his radio broadcast, claiming that the events of the episode prove Saxon's theories about alien life correct; in the preceding episode, "The Runaway Bride", a Mr. Saxon is said to have given the military the order to fire on the Empress's ship. A "Vote Saxon" poster, identical to one seen in the Torchwood episode "Captain Jack Harkness", and also in the trailer for the series, can be seen in the alleyway when the Doctor collects Martha. 'Mr Saxon' became the running theme for the third series, which came to its conclusion in the episodes "Utopia", "The Sound of Drums" and "Last of the Time Lords".
Martha refers to the spaceship crashing into Big Ben in "Aliens of London", the events of "The Christmas Invasion" or "The Runaway Bride", and the Battle of Canary Wharf against the Cybermen from "Army of Ghosts". She also recalls the loss of her cousin Adeola who "worked at Canary Wharf" and disappeared, a reference to the "Army of Ghosts" character played by the same actress.
The Doctor voices his approval of the hospital shop, a reference to "New Earth", when he stated that he likes "little shops". The Doctor asks for a banana milk shake. He previously mentioned the fruit in "The Doctor Dances" and "The Girl in the Fireplace". The Doctor is able to focus Röntgen radiation into his left shoe, showing no real concern to his health. He is, however, susceptible to excessive radiation, the factor that caused the Tenth and Third Doctors to regenerate in "The End of Time" and Planet of the Spiders respectively. Martha asks the Doctor if he has a brother and he replies, "Not any more". A brother to the Doctor was previously mentioned in the spin-off New Adventure novel Tears of the Oracle by Justin Richards, which was edited by Simon Winstone, script editor for this episode. The brother's name, or at least the name he used, was Irving Braxiatel. The Doctor uses his alias "John Smith", which was given to him by Jamie McCrimmon in the serial The Wheel in Space.
Martha refers to Zovirax, a cold sore treatment. In the television advertisements for Zovirax a woman goes about her daily routine hiding her cold sores by wearing a motorbike helmet similar to those worn by the Slabs. The Doctor says that he once had a laser spanner which was stolen by Emily Pankhurst, who he refers to as 'a cheeky woman'. Emmeline Pankhurst was one of the founders of the early 20th century British Suffragette movement. The Doctor implies that he assisted Benjamin Franklin during his famous 1752 electricity experiment involving lightning, a kite and a key. 'Mrs. Finnigan', the Plasmavore, is found drinking Mr. Stoker's blood. Mr. Stoker was intended by Russell T Davies to be a reference to the character Mr Stoker in his 1989 series Children's Ward. However, the design department saw this as a reference to Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, so the sign 'B. Stoker' was placed on the office door during production.
This is the first episode not to have a pre-credits sequence since the Ninth Doctor episode "Rose" (another series opener, also introducing a new companion). The next series opener, "Partners in Crime", would also have no pre-credits sequence.
Filming took place mainly in August 2006, with additional work done in September, October and November of that year. The hospital was filmed in several places over August - the School of Sciences at the University of Glamorgan[location 1] was used, as well as parts of Singleton Hospital in Swansea,[location 2] and Usk Valley Business Park.[location 3] The verandah and the staff kitchen were shot in the Doctor Who production team's studios at Upper Boat, Trefforest.[location 4]
The alley at the end where the TARDIS was parked was filmed in Pontypridd in September 2006. The scenes featuring Martha's family were recorded in October 2006, also mainly in Pontypridd. The street scenes with Tish at the start of the episode were filmed on Queen's Street in Cardiff in October.
The overall shape of the hospital was also modified to resemble the more square shape of St Thomas' Hospital. Early in the episode, a shot of the front of Singleton Hospital is seen where part of the building has been removed and an image of the London Eye added to make it appear that the hospital is in the location of St. Thomas'.
The first use of Martha's theme in the music for the episode is sung by Melanie Pappenheim. She previously featured in "The Doctor's Theme", "Bad Wolf Theme" and "Doomsday". The music at the start of the episode, when Martha is talking on the phone to her family, is "Sunshine" by Arrested Development.
It was originally planned that the episode would air on 17 March 2007; however, the date was shifted back a week to 24 March, when it was realised that it would have gone up against the final of ITV1 series Dancing on Ice. The episode was then shifted back another week, to 31 March, because of England's European Championship qualifier against Israel on 24 March. "Smith and Jones" and "The Shakespeare Code" were previewed to the press on 21 March. This created much hype in the press for the new series in the days leading up to broadcast. Two specially created trailers for the third series were shown on the BBC in the two weeks before broadcast. These trailers featured clips from the series, predominantly with clips of "Smith and Jones".
The first North American broadcast of the episode occurred on 18 June 2007, when the CBC aired it in Canada. "Smith and Jones" takes place after the 2006 Christmas special "The Runaway Bride", but the CBC aired them in reverse order. The episode made its US broadcast debut on 6 July 2007, on the Sci Fi Channel, directly following "The Runaway Bride".
Dave Bradley of SFX gave "Smith and Jones" five out of five stars, calling it an "explosive start" and praising Martha's character and the Judoon. IGN's Travis Fickett rated the episode 8.2 out of 10, believing it started the series with a "fun alien invasion story as well as a terrific introduction" for Martha. The Stage reviewer Scott Matthewman noted that the science in the episode "doesn't stand up to close scrutiny" and felt that Martha's family was the "weakest part" because they seemed to be "little more than a sitcom caricature", but he praised Agyeman and her character. Dek Hogan of Digital Spy was more mixed, saying that "a little bit of the magic seems to have gone", citing Finnegan as perhaps not a "terrifying enough monster for the first episode" and that Martha's "complicated family baggage" contributed to making her not as good a character as Rose Tyler and Donna Noble had been.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Tenth Doctor|